In their work with schools over the last few years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has heard a common theme: Teachers are trying hard to challenge and engage their students, but they don’t have sufficient choices for effective digital instructional tools that truly meet their needs. At the same time, many instructional product developers have told the foundation they don’t have a good way to receive ongoing feedback about what teachers need and want from their products.
This absence of useful market information has led to a mismatch between the kinds of digital instructional tools that teachers say they actually need and the kinds of products companies are creating and school districts are buying. This study is part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts to contribute to better connections between teachers, those who procure resources for them, and product developers. By identifying clear and actionable information about market gaps in digital instructional tools, the foundation hopes to broadly share this knowledge with the field. Aggregating and amplifying the voices of teachers and students can help strengthen digital content and tools. One goal in sharing this information is to enable product developers to better understand the emerging needs of teachers and students so they can create instructional tools that are more useful. Some interesting results – check it out.